Asian Inspiration

Caramelised Coconut Mackerel from Uyen Luu's book

I’ve just had a super terrific reunion weekend with three of my great friends, Kavey, Pete and Marie. We’ve been anticipating this meet-up for months (FYI: Pinterest is awesome for brainstorming foodie get togethers) and, as usual, hatched some ambitious plans for our menu. I can always count on Kavey to come armed with fun new cookbooks to try, and this weekend it was Uyen Luu’s My Vietnamese Kitchen, which became the focus of our cooking adventures and also inspired us to go with an Asian theme throughout the weekend. As a result, I’m feeling that dopamine high of having learned so many new things! Steamed fish, Shaoxing wine, fried rice, Vietnamese omelettes, Chinese salad dressings, tempura vegetables, new ways with tofu, not to mention some delicious drinks to go with them, and a few solid GAMES to keep us busy between courses (I. Love. Carcassonne.).


I thought I’d share a few of the recipes that I particularly enjoyed.

We loved Uyen Luu’s Omelette Bánh Mi with quick pickled carrots; the perfect thing for Saturday Lunch. We also loved her Caramelised Coconut Sardines (which we adapted with mackerel, pictured above).

Saturday Lunch: Bahn Mi and Beer

Warm tofu with spicy garlic sauce, perhaps one of the easiest and most delicious preparations for tofu that I’ve ever come across.

Warm Tofu with Spicy Garlic Sauce

Miso Sesame Dressing, a sauce so nice we made it twice! First to go with panko fried vegetables on Friday night, and we liked it so much that we did it again on Saturday for veggie tempura.

Crispy Salad with Grated Carrots and a Ponzu Soy Dressing from Harumi Kurihara’s Everyday Harumi (another stellar book find).

Harumi Kurihara's Crisp Salad with Grated Carrots and Ponzu Soy Dressing

Steamed Sea Bream with Ginger and Spring Onion, adapted from Fuchsia Dunlop’s sea bass recipe on (we couldn’t get a hold of whole sea bass so used sea bream fillets which worked a charm). This was very simple to make and totally outstanding. Plus, it added a new ingredient to my cooking repertoire: Shaoxing wine!

Steamed sea bream with ginger and spring onion

Spicy Peanut Noodles, another Fuchsia recipe and a perfect side dish for the fish. I’ll definitely be making the peanut sauce again to use on all manners of tasty things (veggie “noodles” come to mind).

Dutch Baby Pancake with Green Tea Ice Cream.

Clafoutis with Whisky-Soaked Dates (adapted from Kate Hill‘s recipe), served with Uyen Luu’s Vietnamese Frozen Yogurt.

Made @katedecamont's clafoutis last night, with whiskey-soaked dates. Leftovers going down well for breakfast with @lovelulu's frozen yogurt.


Do check out Uyen Luu’s book, My Vietnamese Kitchen, and while you’re at it, check out my friends’ awesome websites too: Kavey EatsPete Drinks and Lanyon Cottages.

There’s also a few more awesome pictures from our weekend (Banangrams, Pina Coladas, Yahtzee!) on Flickr.

7 thoughts on “Asian Inspiration

  1. Kavey

    I felt VERY spoiled as there were several recipes I’d been bookmarking on Pinterest for EVER (the tofu, and the baked onions) so I was thrilled to finally eat those. And then we made lots of recipes from two books that I’m currently loving! (I wrote a review of Everyday Harumi last month but it’s for print so it won’t be out until March but it’s a great book, I really recommend it).

    And now we’ve cooked more from Uyen’s I can finally get my review of that written too.

    THANKS FOR ALL THE FUN, FOOD and relaxing, ladies and Pete.

    1. Monica Post author

      Well I’m happy to spoil you anytime. I’m already looking forward to our next dose of food and gaming. We should set some dates. 😉

  2. Dottie Shaw

    It looks like something quite memorable … something to inspire more of the same… all the food looks SO good, and games… oh games… a great way to enjoy time with friends while the scent of food cooking fills the air, or bellies filled with good food settle into happy satisfaction. Great post.

  3. kellie@foodtoglow

    What a fabulous foodie heaven weekend! I loved the Instagram images – I could tell you were having a blast. Love, love Vietnamese food and the menu sounds like my idea of bliss. Need to get Uyen’s book. My birthday is coming up so I shall be dropping serious hints 😉


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *